Under consideration PE2109: Halt any further pump storage hydro schemes on Scottish lochs holding wild Atlantic salmon

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to create a moratorium on any further development of pump storage hydro operations on Scottish lochs holding wild Atlantic salmon until the impact of such developments on wild Atlantic salmon migrations is understood.

Previous action taken

Responded to earlier pump storage hydro (PSH) applications on Loch Ness, staged public meetings and lobbied politicians to raise our concerns about the environmental impact of PSH. We commissioned the highly respected Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) to produce a report https://brage.nina.no/nina-xmlui/handle/11250/3085192

We have been in correspondence with Kate Forbes MSP, Fergus Ewing MSP and Edward Mountain MSP on this matter. The latter’s office facilitated a site meeting to Foyers pump storage hydro scheme in November 2023. Despite all our efforts more PSH schemes are being floated.

Background information

There has been a recent tsunami of interest in pump storage hydro (PSH) in Scotland. The economic case for PSH has been made by the sector but the environmental impacts have been glossed over, denied or ignored.

PSH operations move huge volumes of water and create large variations in loch levels sterilising shoreline ecology. In the case of Loch Ness, if all existing, consented or proposed PSH schemes were approved, the level of Loch Ness will vary by up to 1m daily. Loch Ness would effectively become an inland tidal loch, which would have serious ecological impacts including on the River Ness.

The impact of PSH on salmon smolt migration is not understood but is acknowledged by PSH developers as harmful. Wild salmon in Loch Ness sustain an ecosystem including the famous dolphins at Chanonry Point. 

Please note that we are not against PSH per se, but schemes need to be located in the least environmentally damaging locations.

  • Created by Brian Shaw on behalf of the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board
  • Considered from 19 June 2024
  • Petitions can collect signatures until the petition has been closed

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